Today’s young adults are part of the MZ generation, a segment of society that is familiar with modern technology and are pursuing the latest trends andunique experiences. Generation MZ is a generic term for Generation M and Generation Z. Generation M was born in the analog era in the 1980s and 1990s and went through a transition period in the digital era. Generation Z grew up in a digital environment in the 1990s-2000s and they are called “digital natives.” The MZ generation is familiar with digital devices and information technology, and they exert their influence on SNS. In the so-called 2030 generation, consumption culture and mindsets are different from previous generations due to information access across various media. Pharos will discuss the changes in values in the MZ generation.
The MZ generation shows various characteristics that are different from previous generations. Young people exhibit tendencies such as rapid adaptation, self-centered thinking, and high sensitivity to new trends. A new form of consumption culture has emerged, faithful to reality rather than the future. The FIRE and YOLO movements are new forms according to changes in social flow. The FIRE movement, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early, refers to those who voluntarily retired from society after achieving economic freedom. When they were young, they reduced consumption to create a state of financial independence, and quickly retired to obtain the freedom they wanted. Recently, the price of investment assets such as Bitcoin and stocks has led to a large number of people with large amounts of money at a young age. Many people's net worth has increased, and the FIRE movement has grown. On the other hand, many people in their 20s and 30s gave up their dreams of getting married and living in their own homes. The newly-emerged YOLO movement focuses on only having one life, so followers enjoy the moment rather than plan for the future. Luxury consumption has also increased along with the flex culture that values the present rather than the future and taste rather than price. Both the FIRE and the YOLO movements reflect the MZ generation's longing for freedom and thinking about themselves first. However, the older generation views them as fleeing reality by embracing new and radical life values.
The older generation is responsible for the modernization and industrialization of Korea. Without considering the current culture’s differences from the past, the older generation scolds and criticizes the MZ generation based on the values of their own generation. The different atmosphere and different thoughts of the times mean that there is a possibility of misunderstanding and conflict. First of all, in the case of the MZ generation, diversity is embraced in a mobile environment and individual free choices and tastes are respected. On the other hand, the older generation chose to get married, work and save, and value hierarchy, all of which are based on Confucian culture. Conflict due to generational differences is the reason for the emergence of a new social aspect as seen earlier. Due to the problem of polarized generational conflict, the MZ generation shows a problem where they only care about themselves and not others. In a competitive society, they have begun to show a different appearance from all previous generations, such as not having children and easily giving up their jobs, all for the sake of "me.“
Society has begun to show signs of individualistic tendencies, and many changes from the previous generation are being seen due to the change in the social atmosphere. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s analysis of the MZ generation, the values of the MZ generation regarding occupation and work are as follows. Values such as “I would change my job if there is a better job” and “I want to have leisure time rather than just working for money” appeared larger than in the baby boomer generation, and as time goes by, these mindsets are becoming increasingly firm. However, unlike the MZ generation, the baby boomer generation thought less about leisure time and job flexibility. The reason why the baby boomer generation and MZ generation show such a difference is that the MZ generation believes that it is important to secure their own time. In addition, it is said that if you frequently work at the company outside of working hours, you will leave the company due to the stress caused by this. The reason why the MZ generation has a higher turnover rate than the baby boomer generation is that it is because free time and self-development are considered more important than in the previous generation. Changes in values regarding marriage and childbirth are also significant. The survey of the MZ generation by the Seoul Metropolitan Government found that there were many negative opinions in the areas of “must get married” and “must have children”. However, it was found that the baby boomer generation showed a more positive response in the same marriage and childbearing values survey. In addition, the MZ generation is reported to be more open-minded about divorce and cohabitation.
"There is a lot of interest in the MZ generation from society. In entertainment shows, certain individuals are introduced as a representative of the MZ generation, and in the news, the word MZ generation is seen as a keyword for many analyses. As shown above, it can be seen that the MZ generation has different values from the previous generations. Not all people will fit in with the characteristics, but if you understand the differences of each generation and participate in social life, generational conflicts can be reduced. Since the characteristics of the MZ generation have become a hot topic, only the characteristics of the MZ generation are being widely discussed. However, in order to understand the changing trends in today’s society, it is necessary to conduct a comparative analysis of the previous generations as well. It is important to create a society that recognizes differences and understands and respects each other."
75th Reporter • KIM YUN JUNG • email@example.com
76th Reporter • JEONG SEUNG HYE • firstname.lastname@example.org